Your pet will spend a few hours with us as we work through the dental examination and cleaning. This is a general overview of an average dental appointment.
1. Animals receive a light sedation for dental procedures. Read more about why pets need dedation for teeth cleaning
2. We begin with dental x-rays (they just won't hold still for the pictures!). More information on Xrays
2. The vet will visually inspect the mouth and teeth as well as palpate each tooth to assess the overall oral health and the soundness of each tooth.
3. Your pet's teeth will be cleaned and scaled, using the same procedures that humans dentists use.
4. We report our findings about your pet's teeth. We may make followup recommendations.
Do Vets Have Special DentistryTraining?
Yes our vets have special training in animal dentistry, scaling, root canals and repairs of jaw fractures.
What if my pet needs a tooth removed - will I be informed?
We always try to discuss all treatment options and potential outcomes of dental cleanings and treatments before we begin. Our trained veterinary dentists will attempt to identify teeth that will need removal or that may not survive the cleaning process before beginning the procedure. However this process is not failproof and there are rare occasions where we are surprised by a tooth loss during a cleaning or scaling. We will inform you of the tooth loss during our followup report.
My pet has never needed a dentist before - Why do they need a veterinary dentist now?
Cats and dogs that lived on farms and worked hard for their food did not need dentist. In fact, in the past the overwhelming majority of pets did not live long enough to see old age as we now know it for pets.
With the development of antibiotics, analgesics, cancer treatments and treatments for other life long pet diseases, our pets are living longer, fuller lives. Part of the logic of living longer, means that their teeth need to last them much longer than the teeth of previous generations of cats and dogs. Part of the beauty of helping pets to live longer means that we also need to be actively involved in maintaining their health.
As we stated before, we know now that oral health can greatly affect the longevity of a pet. If your goal is for your pet to live a long healthy life, then you need to join the masses of people that are brushing their pet's teeth regularly as well as having their pet's teeth cleaned by a veterinary dentist.